The Good Life

The Good Life
Tracy K. Smith

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is
Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty.
And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true;
He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.

For Bibliophiles

It is an important task to keep up with all the old and new poets emerging on the literary scene and reading anthologies really gives an eclectic composite. What I love about reading poetry anthologies is the wide range of writers from various literary periods on a variety of subjects. There are an incredible amount of remarkable poets to learn about!

Following is a partial list of poetry books and audio/visual materials that I’ve read in the past five years to complete my poetry anthology, The Seven Ages of Man, which has a great sampling of poets from the 13th to the 20th century.

I hope you are able to enjoy these resources as much as I did! If you can’t find them through your local library, many of them are available as free downloads on Google books or Project Gutenberg. There are an incredible amount of remarkable poets to learn about! I hope you enjoy these resources as much as I did!

Poetry resource list

The 100 Best Love Poems of All Time, edited by Leslie Pockell, 2003.

100 Poems to Lift Your Spirits, edited by Leslie Pockell and Celia Johnson, 2008.

1914 and Other Poems by Rupert Brooke. London: Sidgwick & Jackson Limited, 1915.

Across the Mutual Landscape by Christopher Gilbert.

Alex Posey, The Creek Indian Poet: The Poems of Alexander Lawrence Posey. Mrs. Minnie H. Posey, ed., Kansas: Crane & Company, 1910.

All That Matters by Edgar A. Guest, 1922.

All of Us: The Collected Poems of Raymond Carver, 1998.

American Poetry, 1922: A Miscellany. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922.

Continue reading For Bibliophiles

You are not your age

You are not your age
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are the croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.

~ e.h. (Erin Hanson)

Elena Ferrante

“I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t. . . . I very much love those mysterious volumes, both ancient and modern, that have no definite author but have had and continue to have an intense life of their own. They seem to me a sort of nighttime miracle, like the gifts of the Befana, which I waited for as a child. . . . True miracles are the ones whose makers will never be known. . . . Besides, isn’t it true that promotion is expensive? I will be the least expensive author of the publishing house. I’ll spare you even my presence.” ~ Elena Ferrante